Celestial Mechanics by Glenda León

Space. From 15 Nov, 2019 to 10 Jan, 2020

Glenda León (Cuba, 1976) after her participation at The Havana Biennial with Natural Mechanic, embarks a dialectical reflection on the fragility and strength of nature in a symbolic gesture of empowerment, the artist turns the butterfly wing dust in an imaginary galaxy revealing his allegorical power and revealing the invisible in our eyes.

Opening:15 Nov, 2019

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Glenda León creates artworks in different languages like videos, photography, installations or public interventions in which she examined the relationship between artificial and natural elements where ordinary objects transform and reveal their metaphorical power. This capacity of creating new meanings through the contextualization, manipulations, and association of the objects work as a sounding board to question big questions.

In Celestial Mechanics, the artist fosters a holistic vision of the universe:  all beings were conceived by the same energy that the Cosmos was created. Thereby, the artist uses an infimum element as it is the butterfly wing dust to promote a metamorphic journey that raises ontological and epistemological issues. Glenda León amplifies the qualities of a fragile material in an action, almost scientific, of discovery and deconstruction of a butterfly from stages of approaches and scales. One of his more intimate parts, the dust of his wins, is taken as material to present imaginaries cosmic landscapes.  The artists get inspired by the second axiom of Kybalión through the teaching of Hermes Trismegistus – ” “As above, so below; as below, so above” – to reflect on nature, her strength and her presence, as part of the indissoluble whole to which we belong. These pieces are grouped under the name Celestial bodies, inspired by Celestial Letters, works by the Cuban artist Loló Soldevilla of mid 20th century.

The use of butterfly wing dust on the work of Glenda León enrolls within that line of her work in which disputes the representation of reality through traditional means and assumes the use of unconventional materials as her own hair, flowers, feathers, cassette tape, gum or sand. Thus, the medium is transformed into the message in a more analog sense of what Marshall McLuhan expresses in his writings. In this way, the butterfly is a symbol of the empowerment of what we badly call ‘weak’; an increased fragility – in this case -, for the negative impact of the exploitation of natural resources.  Perhaps, the importance is not valued in all its magnitude of the existence of the butterfly in vital elements as the contribution to the pollination of flowers, the inclusion in the food chain as nourishment for birds or insectivorous mammals an even as benchmark for ecosystem health scholars.

Complements his work a poetic approach to the contents – so unusual in the current contemporary art – and that the artist considers necessary in the face of the superficiality that constantly surrounds us. Glenda León presents her vision of life as a path of spiritual growth and the role that art may have in this process. The immensity represented by the wings of this little being can become a space to look, to find or to remember the infinite beauty that surrounds us and that sometimes it remains hidden from our eyes.

Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, installation view, Cuerpos Celestes, 2019, Butterly wing dust and wing fragment on velvet, various measures.
Glenda León, installation view, Cuerpos Celestes, 2019, Butterly wing dust and wing fragment on velvet, various measures.
Glenda León, Cuerpos Celestes, La muerte de una Estrella, 2019, Butterly wing dust, gold, and wing fragment on velvet, 150 x 300 cm
Glenda León, Cuerpos Celestes, La muerte de una Estrella, 2019, Butterly wing dust, gold, and wing fragment on velvet, 150 x 300 cm
Glenda León, installation view, Cuerpos Celestes, 2019, Butterly wing dust and wing fragment on velvet, various measures.
Glenda León, installation view, Cuerpos Celestes, 2019, Butterly wing dust and wing fragment on velvet, various measures.
Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, exhibition view, Mecánica Celeste, November 2019.
Glenda León, Cuerpos Celestes: El nacimiento de un Sol azul, 2019, Butterly wing dust and wing fragment on velvet, 24 x 32.5 cm
Glenda León, Cuerpos Celestes: El nacimiento de un Sol azul, 2019, Butterly wing dust and wing fragment on velvet, 24 x 32.5 cm